REAL ESTATE

Kroger to make record investment in new Virginia store

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Richmond, Va. — Charlotte, N.C.-based Crosland Southeast said it broke ground Friday on Richmond MSA’s newest multi-use development, Stonebridge, which will occupy the site of the former Cloverleaf Mall in Chesterfield County, Va.

The first phase of Stonebridge includes the construction of 144,000-sq.-ft. of retail space – most notably, a 123,600-sq.-ft. Kroger Marketplace grocery store that will be the region’s largest and the company’s most expensive to date.

The Kroger Marketplace will be the region’s largest traditional grocery store in size and will represent the Kroger Co.’s largest single-store investment in the company’s history. This first-of-its-kind store in Virginia offers shoppers an experience that combines a top-quality grocery store with 30,000 sq. ft. of non-grocery, home store offerings ranging from furniture to home décor. The remaining square footage of the first phase of development will include a Kroger fuel station, 20,400 sq. ft. of smaller retail shops and four outlots.

Stonebridge is a joint venture between Crosland Southeast and Hartford-based Hutensky Capital Partners. Plans are in place for a Phase II to launch in 2012 with 175,000 sq. ft. of retail and 350 multi-family residences.

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REAL ESTATE

C. Wonder makes retail debut

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — A new concept, C. Wonder, has made its retail debut, opening a 5,000-sq.-ft. store in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. The company is on track to open three mall locations this fall: Garden State Plaza, Paramus, N.J.; The Westchester Mall, White Plains, N.Y.; and Roosevelt Field, Garden City, N.J. An additional 20 locations are planned for 2012, according to various reports.

C. Wonder (the “C” stands for charming, chic and cheerful, according to the company) is the latest venture from Christopher Burch (the ex-husband of designer Tory Burch, the venture capitalist also co-founded her company and remains on the board). It offers a wide variety of goods, including apparel, accessories and home-décor items, all under its own brand. The price points are low to moderate, and the boutique-like environment is cheerful and colorful, with mismatched wallpaper and other whimsical touches.

Playful and upbeat, the store also has a high-tech bent. Customers can select the music they want to hear in the fitting rooms, and adjust the lighting to their liking. Sales associates are equipped with mobile devices. The store also boasts a totally integrated RFID and POS system.

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REAL ESTATE

Timberland to open in Minneapolis

BY Marianne Wilson

Stratham, N.H. — Timberland announced it will open a store in the Calhoun Square shopping district of Minneapolis on Nov. 18.

Similar to Timberland stores around the world, the new 2,000 sq. ft. space is designed to reflect the company’s long-standing commitment to sustainability, and was built with the environment in mind. Build-out features include the use of reclaimed wood and industrial machinery (used for table bases); "Ecotech" recycled stoneware floor tiles; FSC certified woods; reduced-wattage LED lighting; Energy Star-eligible equipment and appliances; low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints; and water-conserving plumbing fixtures.

The space also features a custom-designed mural themed around the Great Lakes.

"As a brand rooted in the outdoors, extending our presence in Minnesota is a natural fit," said John Pazzani, VP direct to consumer, Timberland. "Minneapolis is one of this country’s great cities and much like New England, locals are encouraged to explore the outdoors, even in the frigid, winter months.”

Within the past year, Timberland has opened new retail locations in New York City, San Francisco, Boston and Chicago.

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